Holding police officers who kill Black citizens accountable for their actions is a concept Killer Mike has stood behind for years. He’s an outspoken activist unafraid of tackling the most pressing issues within the Black community. So, it’s no surprise his recent interview with Brooke Baldwin on CNN was insightful and solution-based.
Within the segment “America in Crisis” Mike addresses the recent police brutality cases within the country. “As a dad in this country it’s a scary time because officers of the state continue to use the uniform of the state in an abusive way,” Mike says.
“That isn’t just the killings, that is the abuse in the way I’ve seen people online being talked to by police. That’s in the way I’ve seen a U.S. soldier be engaged by the police. That’s in the way I’m seeing people who have the authority of the state including people who belong to the United States Army bullying a Black child in the same neighborhood. There is something wrong in this country where regular citizens who are empowered by the state are choosing to abuse that power on other citizens.”
Specifically, Mike seems to be disturbed by Second Lieutenant Caron Nazario’s frightening traffic stop and U.S. soldier Jonathan Pentland bullying a Black kid in his neighborhood. Pentland has been charged with assault and the officer who pepper-sprayed and violently threw Nazario on the ground has been fired.
For Mike, the best way to address this issue is ending qualified immunity — the legal principle that shields government officials from civil suits and other consequences despite their misconduct. It was created by the Supreme Court in the late 1960s and is widely regarded as one of the most unjustified legal doctrines in American history.
Killer Mike has teamed up with Ben Cohen of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream to push for the dismissal of the controversial legality.
“I think the day of reckoning is coming in which the proletarians, the greater base of us, the actual citizens, who pay with our tax dollars these people’s taxes. There’s a day coming in which everything must radically change,” Mike explains. “Law enforcement and the way laws are enforced is going to change. The people who make laws, it’s going to have to change or we will not be electing them and the way that people have the opportunity to be protected once they make brutal mistakes like killing people has to change.”
When Baldwin asks Mike — whose dad and cousins are officers — for additional answers on how to make the murders of Black men, boys and women stop, he offers another valid solution. “I am not a fan of people policing areas that they don’t look like the people there,” Mike says. “They are not sympathetic or empathetic to the people there or they do not live in that community... If you're city is 50% Black and you don’t have a 50% or more Black police force then you’re going to encounter problems.”